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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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THE BRABMOTS&V FESTIVAL.                                        281
comers, and is brought out only once a year in tlie month of Chait during the
festival of the Brahmotsav. The mela lasts for ten days, on eaci. of which the
god is taken In state from, the temple along the road, a distance of 690 yards,
to a garden where a pavilion lias been erected for his reception. Hie proces*
sion is always attended with torctieSy music, and incense, and some military
display contributed by the Baja of Bharatpur. On the day -when the rath is
used, the image, composed of the eight metakj is seated in the centre of the car;
•with attendant Brahmans standing on either side to fan it with chauries. Each
of the Setts j with the rest of the throng, giyes an occasional hand to the ropes by
which the ponderous machine is drawn ; and by dint of much exertioa? the
distance is ordinarily accomplished in the space of about two and-a-half hours.
On the evening of the following day there is a grand display of fire-works^ to
which ail the European residents of the station are invited, and which attracts
a large crowd of natives from the country round about. On other days when
the rath is not brought out-, the god lias a wide choice of vehicles, being borne
now on a palki, a richly gilt £ tabernacle* (punya-kothty, a throne (sinhdsan)* or
a tree, either the kadamb, or the tree of Paradise (hdpa-vrifaha); now on
some demi-god, as the sun or the moon,, Gar lira, Hannman, or Sesba ; now
again on some animal, as a horsey an elephant, a lion, a swan, or the fabulous
eight-footed SaralJia. Tbe ordinary cost of one of these celebrations is about
Ks. 5?000? while the annual expenses of the whole establishment amount to no
less tkan Us. 57?GOO, the largest item in that total being Rs, 80?060 for the bhog
or foody which after being presented to the god is then consumed by fee priests
or given away in charity. Every day 500 of the Sri Taishnava sect are feel
at the temple, and every morning up to ten o'clock a dole of fioar is given to
anyone of any denomination who chooses to apply for it.
The endowment consists of thirty-three villages^ yielding a gross income
of Rs. 1,17,000, on which the Government demand amounts to Rs, 64,000.
Of the thirty-three villages, thirteen, including one quarter of Brinda-ban, are
in the Hathura, and twenty in the Agra district. The votive- offerings amount
oa an average to Rs. 2,000 a year, and there is farther a sum invested in the
funds which yields in annual interest as much as Bs» 11,800. In 1888, the
whole estate was transferred by the Swami—the deed of transfer bearing a
stamp of Rs» 2,000—to a committee of management, who on his           were
Tbonnd to appoint a successor. This arrangement "was necessitated by the bail
conduct of Ms son Srinivasacharya—named according to family custom after
the grandfather—who, far from beiag a scholar like his father^ is barely edu-
cated up to the ordinary level of his poamtrymen ; while Ma proiigEcj is open